Amp’d features local musicians

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Photo by: Marina D'Souza

Vocalist and guitarist Jess Strickland from Sounds of Suburbia entertained audience members at the Amp’d! event.

Marina D'Souza, Photographer

Amp’d! 2010 was a music event sponsored by Housing and Resident Life to entertain students and encourage exposure to guest musicians.

The event sponsored two music groups, Sounds of Suburbia and Fly Higher, at FMU on Thursday, Sept. 15 in the Heyward Community Center.

Terence Jackson, assistant director of resident life, is an alumnus of Francis Marion and has now taken on the responsibility of encouraging students to involve themselves and support local musicians.

“We hold events on [the] second and fourth Thursdays of every month, and students are invited to enjoy good music for no charge,” Jackson said.

Sounds of Suburbia is a music group consisting of three young men from Columbia, S.C. Jess Strickland, Josh Adams and Brock Rhoad have together been successful and have established a repertoire of reggae, rock, pop, funk, bluegrass and acoustic genres of music.

“Jess and I are actually high school friends and we continued to play music ever since,” Adams said.

The vocals of Strickland combined with the guitar strumming tones had the students in the audience swaying to the rhythm of the songs.

“For our first time being here, it was a great crowd, it was a great response and we really enjoyed ourselves,” Strickland said. “We would definitely come back.”

Kelly Hawkins, who was in charge of booking the bands for the event, was content with the outcome and the audience response.

“It was all an idea that I had in my mind to bring people in school together somehow.” Hawkins said.

Hawkins said that the premier show of these young musicians at Francis Marion was a success and that she is looking forward to more in the future.

“It is the first time that we had these two bands come and perform here,” Hawkins said. “We are testing it out and we hope to bring artists like them every semester.”

Alex Melton gave a solo performance on some songs that he had arranged. His music brought people to their feet and had them clapping their hands to the beat of his songs.

The Office of Residence Life is constantly striving to help students grow not only academically, but also socially so that they are well-rounded and enjoy their experience while at Francis Marion.

“I enjoy music, I love music and I’m young at heart,” Jackson said. “I want to be able to expose students to a variety of music because they don’t even have to pay anything to attend; we take care of it all.”